April data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicates that, once again, there was no moderation in the pace of home price increases. FHFA's Housing Price Index (HPI), which is based on loans sold to or guaranteed by the two GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, increased 0.7 percent from March. Further, the March Index, originally reported to have gained 0.6 percent from the previous month, was revised upward, also to 0.7 percent.
There was an even larger jump in the pace of appreciation on an annual basis. The year-over-year HPI was up by 6.8 percent compared to 6.4 percent in March.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March 2017 to April 2017 ranged from an 0.1 percent decline in the East South Central division to a 1.6 percent gain in the West South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +4.7 percent in the West North Central division to +8.9 percent in the Mountain division.
The South Atlantic division has been particularly strong in recent months. Many of the states in that division, which includes Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, both Carolina's, Georgia, and Florida, were particularly hard hit by the recession and the foreclosure crisis. Month-over-month increases in that division gained by an average of 1.25 percent in March and April.
FHFA's HPI tracks changes in average home prices by analyzing changes in home values from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-purchased and guaranteed mortgages originated over the past 42 years. The index has a base value of January, 1991=100 and currently stands at 248.2 compared to 246.6 in March.